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21 votes
Accepted

Why is Korean considered a language isolate?

Remember "isolate" doesn't mean "shown to be unrelated to any other language". It means "not shown to be related to any other language" (in a sufficiently convincing manner to establish a consensus). ...
brass tacks's user avatar
  • 18.1k
16 votes

Is use of sorting expected and used in East Asian languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean)?

Yes, all of these cultures expect and use sorting pretty much just like alphabet-using cultures do. Japanese has a set of some 46 phonetic characters called kana. They're arranged by phonetics in a ...
melissa_boiko's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Contrast of degree of aspiration in Korean

The notion "degree of X" really requires a three-way distinction to be valid, as in degrees of length (Estonian, Saami, Dinka), nasalization (Palantla Chinantec) or breathiness (Bor Dinka). If there ...
user6726's user avatar
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11 votes

Did Google Translate supply North Korea with the word "dotard" because of J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings"?

It is unlikely, since Google translates the Korean original 늙다리(미치광이) (neulgdalimichigwang-i) as "an old man lunatic", where "늙다리" (neulgdali) conveys "old" and "미치광이" (michigwang-i) conveys "maniac". ...
user6726's user avatar
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10 votes

Why Korean transcriptions of Japanese words uses the letters ㄱ,ㄷ,ㅈ for initial /k/, /t/, /tɕ/ while using ㅋ,ㅌ,ㅊ for other languages?

As you may know, "single" stops in Korean are weakly aspirated in initial position only (audio example), so Japanese stops in the unvoiced series (such as た) correspond to Korean "...
jogloran's user avatar
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9 votes
Accepted

Why do Korean and Japanese sound similar to each other to native speakers of English?

The similarity in sound is the result of two factors: overlapping phonetic inventories, and word length (which affects syllable duration). If you wanted to quantify the similarity, those would be the ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
9 votes

Did the removal of Chinese characters have an impact on Korean and Vietnamese?

Native Korean speaker here. changed pronunciations so pairs of words are no longer homonyms: NO changed spellings so pairs of words are no longer homographs: NO Spelling of Sino-Korean words are ...
jick's user avatar
  • 1,111
8 votes

Why is Hangul (Korean script) not considered an Abugida

Because it isn't. When one takes the arrangement of the Hangul jamos to syllables in square fields apart, it is a fully alphabetic writing system with separate and independent symbols for vowels and ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

What is the modern general communication language writing system with simplest letter symbols?

Cree syllabics seems to the be simplest by any count. The letters ᐊ ᐸ ᑕ ᑲ ᒐ ᒪ ᓇ ᓴ ᔭ represent the consonants Ø p t k ch m n s y (this is the "a" form), and vowels are indicated by the ...
user6726's user avatar
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7 votes

Why do Korean and Japanese share similar borrowed Chinese characters and is different from Chinese language?

TL;DR: language contact between Japanese and Korean has been particularly strong due to historical factors. There have been some papers that break down the different paths of divergence between them ...
Michaelyus's user avatar
  • 7,466
6 votes
Accepted

Why is Hangul (Korean script) not considered an Abugida

disclaimer: I'm not an expert Hangul does seem to meet the Wikipedia definition of Syllabary: a syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent the syllables or (more frequently) moras which ...
Max Heiber's user avatar
6 votes

Why do Korean and Japanese sound similar to each other to native speakers of English?

Extremely similar phonemic systems. In particular, both languages tightly limit syllable-ending consonants, unlike English which permits almost any consonant to end a syllable. Large numbers of loan ...
Joe Walsh's user avatar
  • 129
6 votes

What is tenseness with respect to consonants?

This article starts with a convenient summary of the literature on the production of Korean tense consonants. One of the first studies on the topic is C.W. Kim "On the autonomy of the tensity feature ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
5 votes

What are arguments for and against a common origin of Korean and Japanese?

A common origin for two languages is a concept that has been proposed and theoretically grounded within the comparative method invented at the beginning of the 19th cent. by Rask, Bopp and Grimm. Two ...
Artemij Keidan's user avatar
5 votes

Is use of sorting expected and used in East Asian languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean)?

It's an old question, but no one gave an answer that covers Korean. Korean is written in Hangul, which combines "initial", "middle", and (an optional) "final" letters in a single syllable block. For ...
Ignatius's user avatar
  • 357
5 votes

Why do Korean and Japanese sound similar to each other to native speakers of English?

Besides what others mentioned here, there's also the fact that as foreigners, we are more likely to hear the similarities (especially when we know a few words) than the differences. For me, after I ...
Carl Dombrowski's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Limitations of the parrot speech?

I don't think issue has been explored in a systematic way, and it's not clear how it could be. Theoretically, one might record human language contrasts like tal, thal, ttal uttered by a parrot (how do ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
5 votes

Why Korean transcriptions of Japanese words uses the letters ㄱ,ㄷ,ㅈ for initial /k/, /t/, /tɕ/ while using ㅋ,ㅌ,ㅊ for other languages?

jogloran's answer is a good explanation on why it's possible to transcribe word-initial /k/, /t/ to Korean ㄱ and ㄷ. As for why it had to be that way, there's no logical answer - IMHO the other way (...
jick's user avatar
  • 1,111
5 votes
Accepted

Middle Korean Pronunciation

From page 80 of the 2012 tome The Languages of Japan and Korea on Middle Korean (한글 has been added by myself): MK [Middle Korean] observed implosivization (unrelease) of syllable-final consonants, ...
Michaelyus's user avatar
  • 7,466
5 votes
Accepted

Korean tense/lax vs. English tense/lax

One way to describe consonants is in terms of their physical production, another is in terms of their abstract algebraic function. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to impute physical meanings to ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
3 votes

Why is Hangul (Korean script) not considered an Abugida

Historically speaking, abugida as a linguistic term was introduced by P.Daniels in this article. In speaking of Indic and Ethiopic scripts which have been termed "neo-syllablary" and "...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
3 votes

Why Korean transcriptions of Japanese words uses the letters ㄱ,ㄷ,ㅈ for initial /k/, /t/, /tɕ/ while using ㅋ,ㅌ,ㅊ for other languages?

For what it's worth, I think all comments made here to the effect that the Korean spelling of カタカナ as 가타카나 is due to VOT in either language are not correct or at least insufficient for modern speakers ...
John Frazer's user avatar
2 votes

Why do Korean and Japanese sound similar to each other to native speakers of English?

The following are the reasons why Korean and Japanese sound similar. Basic sounds of consonants and vowels are very similar. Japanese doesn't have certain vowels that exist in Korean. Japanese also ...
James K's user avatar
  • 29
2 votes

Are the Japanese and Korean subject particles known to be related in any way, including by Sprachbund?

As a Japanese-American I've put a lot of thought and reading into this. The short answer is, as others have written, it is not proven either way -- however the evidence is mounting recently in favor ...
Mitsu Hadeishi's user avatar
2 votes

Contrast of degree of aspiration in Korean

I am bilingual in Korean and English. I have always held the view that the difference between 'ㅂ' and 'ㅍ' is not aspiration -- they are both aspirated as you have observed. However, the uniqueness of ...
Justin's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes

Looking for korean text corpus

See a list of Korean corpora available in Sketch Engine at https://www.sketchengine.co.uk/user-guide/user-manual/corpora/by-language/korean-text-corpora/ Some of them are accessible with 30-day free ...
Rodrigo's user avatar
  • 91
2 votes

Is the social relationship between listener and referent grammatically realized in japanese or korean?

With regard to the modern Korean language, my answer would be "not quite but sometimes". Rather, speaker-listener and speaker-referent relationships are encoded separately and combined in the verbal ...
Michaelyus's user avatar
  • 7,466
2 votes

Why is Korean considered a language isolate?

My mother tongue is Chinese and I speak neither Japanese nor Korean yet I don't think they really sound close. I will definitely not mistake Japanese speakers as speaking Korean. It's very easy for "...
xji's user avatar
  • 603
2 votes
Accepted

Is this a common romanization style for Korean?

This is the first time I've seen it, and it seems idiosyncratic. It appears to be a morphophonemic transcription based on Yale, as you can see from the way 못하지 is transcribed mos.ha.ci. Other ...
Michaelyus's user avatar
  • 7,466
2 votes

Why are ㅔ and ㅐ referred to as diphthongs?

In addition to user6726's answer, it is likely that the materials originally referred to "double vowel letters" (or graphemes, or however you call 한글 자모) but was incorrectly translated to "diphthong", ...
jick's user avatar
  • 1,111

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